The Sea Power of the State in the 21st Century


Capt. 1st Rank A.N. POPOV (Ret), Doctor of Military Sciences


Abstract. The authors put forward their views on the significance of sea power for this country in the 21st century and the impact of sea power on the defense of the country's interests in the new military strategic setting.

Keywords: the country's sea power, role of the navy, geopolitical approaches, legal status of the high seas, network-centric warfare concept.

Admiral Sergey G. Gorshkov, the highest-ranking naval officer in the former Soviet Union, wrote in his book, The Sea Power of the State,1 published in 1976, that this power was, in his understanding, the country's capabilities to explore the ocean and develop its floor for minerals, the state of its transport and fishing fleets and their capability to supply the country's needs, and, of course, its navy to defend the country's interests. The phrase "the country's sea power" these authors use below refers to the navy's real combat power.

Researchers in the origins, evolution, and employment of navies in the world's history identify two major trends in the way sea power impacts the role of a country in the world community - first, a nation that does not have or has forfeited sea power cannot claim to have a decisive voice in world affairs, nor can it have confidence in its independence and security; and second, a country's sea power benefits it most only if it is developed and improved consistently, avoiding leaps and lags, or breaks.2 Like all sea powers, Russia has its own interests to pursue in the World Ocean, with a feedback on the goals it sets out to achieve in politics, economics, and security.

A close look at the geopolitical development trends in the World Ocean shows that they are promoted, above all, by economic and military considerations. Indeed, almost 65% of the planet's population live ...

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